Lakeland man arrested after 18-year-old’s body found in Sumter County swamp

Suspect was last seen with victim Tuesday, Sumter County deputies say

David Garcia, 19, of Lakeland
David Garcia, 19, of Lakeland (Copyright 2021 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.)

Sumter County Sheriff’s Office deputies made an arrest in a homicide investigation after a young man’s body was found in a swamp.

David Anthony Garcia, of Lakeland, surrendered to deputies Thursday, the day after the body of Charlie Roberts Jr., 18, was found in Green Swamp Wildlife Management Area, according to a news release.

Victim: Charlie Roberts

Investigators said the 19-year-old suspect was last seen with the victim on Tuesday in Lakeland. When the victim’s family reported him missing, cell phone records led deputies to the Green Swamp WMA, records show.

After an extensive search of the 50,000-acre swamp, Roberts was found on Wednesday, deputies said, shot to death.

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Detectives said they managed to track Garcia to Pinellas County and got him to agree to surrender himself at the sheriff’s office.

Garcia is being held in jail without bond on a charge of first-degree premeditated murder.

David Garcia faces a charge of first-degree premeditated murder (Copyright 2021 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.)

About the Author:

Thomas Mates is a digital storyteller for News 6 and ClickOrlando.com. He also produces the podcast Florida Foodie. Thomas is originally from Northeastern Pennsylvania and worked in Portland, Oregon before moving to Central Florida in August 2018. He graduated from Temple University with a degree in Journalism in 2010.